The choice of Rīga yesterday as the site for the secretariat of the newly established Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is the second piece of good news Latvia has enjoyed this week. The other good news was that Latvia’s blondes have decided to make their “Blinde Parade” an annual event.
The 2nd Annual Blonde Parade took place on Saturday, and while I can’t confirm that this had any influence on the decision of the EU’s 27 telecommunications regulatory agencies, it sure did bring some smiles to the hundreds of delegates attending the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Despite the importance of the NATO PA, the smooth and highly efficient organisation of this event by Rīga and Latvian authorities, and some of the serious discussions that have ensued at Ķīpsala Exhibition Centre, it was the Blonde Parade that received the most extensive coverage by BBC.
According to BBC reporter Damien McGuinness, the Blonde Parade was held to “bolster national spirit during a time of economic recession”. But many economists are cautiously suggesting that Latvia is on the road to recovery. Latvia’s exports are growing, as is foreign investor interest, and the Latvian Tourism Development Agency has launched a new tourism promotion strategy under the tagline “Best Enjoyed Slowly”.
What many may not realize is that many of the blondes who paraded around in pink last weekend also have day jobs in banks, software companies, and government ministries. Those of us who live and work here know that Latvia’s women are not only beautiful, but extremely bright. So that if they had a hand in bringing BEREC to Rīga, it more to do with what’s inside their heads than on top.
But knowing Latvia, it will not stop there. Rumour has it that the brunetes of Latvia are already organising an opposition party.
Ojārs Kalniņš is the Director of Latvian Institute